Courageous Feats: Stories of Ontology, Pláticas, and Pedagogy
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This qualitative study is an exploration of the ontological story of self, the merging of our stories with others through plática, and the meaning making our stories hold for the work we do as educators. The guiding question for this research is: What are the lived experiences that have informed who you have become as an educator? The sub-questions that guided our research were: 1) What do these lived experiences look and feel like?, 2) How do we organize and make meaning of these lived experiences?, and 3) Why is exploring our lived experiences important in knowing who we are as educators? We used story, pláticas, and reflective journals as data collection strategies. Each research partner was interviewed at depth to gather their individual story, followed by a group plática where we shared our individual stories and explored our collective story. The analysis of the data was ongoing as I made researcher comments in my field notes after each individual conversation and plática. A hybrid model was used for analysis of data by combining analysis of critical life moments, anatomy of story, and ecologies of knowing to organize the data to understand the ways in which research partners use their stories to make sense of the world. This process allowed us to filter, organize, and place the data into a medium that made sense from the rhythm and balance of our stories (Guajardo & Guajardo, 2010). Implications of these findings for policy makers, teacher training institutions, teachers, students, parents, educational researchers, and others whose work consists of learning, teaching, and leading are provided within the context of: what has been missing from school improvement; how we create and sustain healthy personal dynamics for our selves, our organizations, and our communities; and why we should invest in understanding ourselves and others.